There is a moment during the N'ilah service on Yom Kippur that stays with me, always. I want to say that it haunts me, but that's really not the right image. It's more a flooding, a rushing-out-and-rushing-in-at-the-exact-same-moment kind of thing.
In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the year’s liturgy. (Note: Even though I may have to repent for it, I will leave you in suspense about my favorite liturgical moment and my greatest liturgical pet peeve. Also, “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days” is fictional, although I hereby declare copyright in the event Mattel or Hasbro comes knocking at my door.)
To devote ourselves to an accurate accounting of the soul, it is customary to refrain from five specific activities related to our bodies on Yom Kippur.
I don’t want to raise my children in a home with yelling. And yet, when I slip in a way that’s human and understandable, I fail both myself and my children.
During the 10 days of repentance and especially on Yom Kippur, we struggle with ourselves, shedding our flaws and the parts of our spirit that detract from our holiness.